The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a rash of car thefts and burglaries of unlocked vehicles in the Glen Ellen and Bennett Valley areas. Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Raasch said the investigation began at about 3:50 a.m. Friday when a resident of the 100 block of Trinity Road in Glen Ellen reported that someone had tried to steal his car.The resident said he had woken up to the sound of his truck starting up, and looked out the window to see a male thief making a three-point turn in his driveway, Raasch said. When the resident yelled at the suspect, the thief crashed the resident’s truck into an automatic gate that was closing and then ran away, Raasch said. As the suspect fled, he dropped a BB gun, Raasch said. Deputies responded and searched the neighborhood but didn’t find him. Deputies began checking into whether there were other victims, and learned that items had been taken from 20 unlocked cars in driveways on Trinity Road and Sylvia and Bonnie drives.
In one case, someone had climbed over a gate and stolen loose change and a garage door opener from an unlocked car, Raasch said. The thief then accessed the garage with the garage door opener and ransacked another unlocked car inside, taking keys and a GPS device. “The suspect did all this while the residents were asleep in their home,” Raasch said. There have also been petty thefts from unlocked cars on Bennett Valley, Grange and Los Alamos roads in the past week. Raasch said at least three vehicles were stolen, all of which were later recovered in east Santa Rosa. Investigators don’t know how many people were involved in the
crimes, but they are describing one suspect as a thin, white male about 6 feet tall who was wearing a tan Carhartt-type jacket with a white hooded sweatshirt, Raasch said.
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